Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Finish or Two

Lately, I've been thinking about that list of projects I started back around the first of the year. I gave myself a challenge to complete 12 personal quilty projects during 2016 that have been (gently) cast aside for one reason or another. With book deadlines and projects taking priority, I really haven't been working very diligently toward my plan for the past few months. This week, my progress got a happy little boost.

A couple weeks ago, I went in search of a cross stitch book I knew I had. I didn't find the book (until I bought it - again - online), but I did find four completed, but not 'finished' cross-stitch pieces. This week, two of those four pieces reached their finish line.

The first one, a mauvy/taupey piece with a cross-stitch rose as its central design joined with a 20" pillow form I purchased by mistake - A happy accident? Fate? Just Lucky?

Anyway, I measured and remeasured the cross-stitch piece to determine what size borders I should add to turn the rectangular stitchery piece into a 20-1/2" unfinished square. (Don't you hate that first cut into something that's this far complete? No matter how many times you do the math, and center and re-center the ruler, there's a sick feeling in your gut when you slice!) I decided to piece a bunch of 1-1/2" finished X-shaped blocks to encircle the embroidery.

I needed quite a few of them, and a lot of stitching. But it was easy-going once I had a plan of action in place. The first couple blocks were truly experimental.

To keep the cross-stitch aida cloth from raveling over time, I sewed my pieced blocks to the trimmed cross-stitch with the usual 1/4" seam . . .

. . . then went back over the edge of the seam allowance with a zig zag stitch. I don't have a serger, so this step is basically a serger hack.

Added a small print fabric border to each side to get to the 20-1/2" square pillow front.

The backing is just two pieces of fabric, each a little larger than half-way across, with the raw edge fused with web on the wrong side, folded over and fused again, then topstitched.

Before sewing around the edge of the pillowcase, I used a really cool upholsterers' technique to trim the sides a bit so they pillow form fills in nicely without creating unattractive poochy-empty spots. I describe this technique in detail to make the Confetti Pillow found in ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One! - Look it up!

And the pillow is all done! Love it!

Then I got to work on the little Snow Bird piece.

This one trimmed down to 3-1/2" by 6-1/2" so I decided to add a small border around the stitchery and some pieced stripey elements. First I strip-pieced 2" strips following a similar technique to the one used for the sashing on the Stained Glass quilt in ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One! . . . .

. . . Then cross-cut the strip into a few pieces for top and bottom borders.

I even furled all the little seam allowances on all the itty-bitty seam intersections. I didn't do the serger hack on this one because it's a wall hanging and it'll probably never get washed or squished or mangled. So, I'm not very worried that the cross-stitch cloth will get a lot of agitated wear.

Add a little quilting, and this entire piece is only about 8" by 12" but it's so fun. And it's DONE!

I have the perfect spot for a small wall-hanging in my front entrance hallway. I guess it's time to take down the one that says "Happy Spring." This one is a bit ahead of the season, as it has a winter-y feel - believe me, I'm not trying to push the clock forward by any means, but at least I won't have to worry about it again for a while! *Wink!*

Add two more finished projects to my list and I'm two more projects closer to my goal for the year.

And that is SO empowering!

Happy Stitching!

Joan Ford


  1. I love your hints for splendid Sampler...but I'm quite behind. Is there any way to go back to see previous posts again?

    1. Glad you are enjoying the tips! The best way for you to access all of my newsletters is via the links in my twitter feed. Since there have been some 30 or 40 emailed newsletters that have been published with the tips since the ’Splendid’ journey began back in February, along with some extra newsletters in between, it might be a bit cumbersome to find each one, but they should all be there. I don’t do very much else in twitter, so the newsletters are basically the only thing in my feed. Look for Tweets with Thursday dates, a photo, and a short blurb covering the newsletter topic for the week, then open the link and scroll down to the brown box toward the bottom of the page for the Splendid tips.

      Here's my twitter address:

      Hope this helps!

    2. By the way . . . Nobody is really behind. You are right where you are supposed to be!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.